Scars

img832Everyone has scars – physical, mental, emotional. Some are easily seen or felt, some not so much. I know I have both kinds.

I was binge watching my way through Criminal Minds the other day and one of the characters said something that caught my attention. I think it was Rossi that said, ‘Scars remind us where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we’re going.’

It seemed so fitting because I’m going through a bunch of old photo albums R.J., my husband, kindly found in the attic a few months ago. I’ve found the process of scanning them isn’t quite so tedious if I take the photos out of the albums ahead of time.

It’s all in the prep…

But that’s another post.

So I’m looking through all of these photos and some people I know, most I don’t, but it’s so amazing to see the people I do know when they were young. Their faces are fresh and beautiful and full of life. Some of them any way. The scars are nowhere in sight.

But somewhere along the way they were scarred and it seems they let those scars dictate their future. How does that happen? And is it always a bad thing?

I know I have more than one scar that has directly resulted in me sitting here, writing this at this very moment and I wouldn’t say that was a bad thing. It hasn’t caused me to become someone I don’t want to be. Sure it hurt at the time, but I wouldn’t be who I am without it.

So what makes some people become paralyzed by their pasts while others use theirs to propel their lives forward, making them better?

I really wish I knew, because I’m beginning to think not being able to process our pasts is the root cause of all of our problems. Generation upon generation build up the scars to the point where people can’t function. People pass on the scars and children, not knowing any better, take them as their own. Then add to them until it seems like they can never do anything but live a scarred life.

But that’s not true.

I’m living proof of that.

Sure I have bad days and my scars will always inform my life, my decisions, but they are not my only guides. They are not the end all, be all of my life. They helped to make me who I am, but they are not the sum of me.

Just like your scars are not the sum of you. And we can start today to change our past by making new memories. Memories that will add good to our sum. Memories that, while never entirely erasing the scars, will soften and fade them in time. So we can learn from our scars, move on, and be the people we were meant to be.

And then maybe we’ll finally have a generation with no inherited scars…

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